Baalke: 49ers not looking to replace Gore


Baalke: 49ers not looking to replace Gore

May 6, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE49ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMatt MaioccoCSNBayArea.comRunning back Frank Gore enters the final year of his contract, and the 49ers have now selected running backs in the past three drafts.While the 49ers are planning for life without Gore as the 49ers' every-down back, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said the club has no intention of running him out of town."I think you always have to plan for the future," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said upon the selection of Oklahoma State running Kendall Hunter."We look at Frank as a 49er and a guy that we would love to have here for his career. This isn't a move to try to replace Frank by any stretch. He's a 49er. Those are the guys that we want to keep in the fold. This is just a chance for us to add a quality player at a position that we needed another player at."
The 49ers selected Hunter on Saturday in the fourth round with the No. 115 overall pick. Hunter rushed for more than 1,500 yards and 16 touchdowns as a sophomore and again as a senior. Injuries limited his production as junior.Hunter (5-foot-7 14, 199 pounds) is outside the mold of running backs the 49ers have drafted over the past two decades. The last running back the 49ers selected -- and who wasn't immediately released -- that compares to Hunter's size was Dexter Carter. A first-round pick in 1990, Carter was 5-9, 170.The 49ers selected 236-pound Anthony Dixon in the sixth round of the 2010 draft. A year earlier, the 49ers invested a third-round selection in power-running Glen Coffee. After one full NFL season, Coffee abruptly retired last summer during training camp.Dixon ended up sharing time with veteran Brian Westbrook after Gore's injury. Westbrook was the 49ers' second-leading rusher with 340 yards on 77 carries, while Dixon gained 237 yards on 70 attempts. Westbrook is a free agent and the club has no intention of re-signing him with a backfield already consisting of Gore, Dixon and Hunter.
Prior to sustaining a season-ending hip fracture in the 11th game of last season, Gore was on the field for 558 or the 49ers' 602 offensive plays (92.7 percent). In selecting Hunter, the 49ers do not believe they are getting just a third-down contributor, Baalke said."We feel real good with him as a three-down, actually a four-down contributor," Baalke said. "He's a guy that proved that during the season. Obviously, he's a skilled running back. He also offers us some very good value as a kickoff returner. As he showed at the Senior Bowl, he can step up in pass-protection. He did very well in the one-on-ones. We're looking at him as a complete back, not just a change-of-pace guy."

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'


Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem


Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”